Blind Chinese dissident Guangcheng asks US to protect relatives in China

Last Updated: Tue, May 21, 2013 08:40 hrs

Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng, who fled to the US last year, has said he thinks Washington should do more to protect the relatives he left behind in China.

Guangcheng caused a diplomatic row between the US and China after he escaped house arrest and sought refuge in the American embassy in Beijing.

Guangcheng, who exposed forced abortions and sterilisations in his home province of Shandong, said he felt let down by both the Chinese and American governments.

In an interview with the BBC in London, he said that that the US Government should publicly and officially ask the Chinese Government to fulfill their commitments.

He added that it has been a year and neither side is living up to their promises following the negotiations last year.

He said that his relatives had been constantly harassed since he left for the US in May last year. He said an elder brother was stopped by an unmarked car while driving on a motorway and beaten up.

According to the BBC, he was eventually allowed to settle in New York with his immediate family, but he said his relatives in China had been subjected to systematic persecution by the authorities.

His brother, Chen Guangfu, had lost his job because of government pressure.

Guangcheng said he wished to return home one day, but his brother said that it was impossible and nothing had changed in the village.

He added that a nephew, Chen Kegui, who was sentenced to more than three years in jail for attacking officials who broke into the family's home when they learnt of Guangcheng's escape, was denied medical treatment when he developed appendicitis while in prison.

The activist also said other family members have suffered intimidation; dead chickens, stones and even home-made bombs have been thrown into the family compound in the village of Dongshigu, near the city of Linyi, the report added. (ANI)

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